Gigamon Extends Application Visibility into the Network

    It’s hard to think of an application these days that isn’t dependent on the network to one degree or another. And yet the visibility into the network, never mind actual control, that most owners of those applications have is minimal at best.

    Gigamon is trying to address that issue with a Unified Visibility Fabric that provides a network overlay that makes it simpler to use technologies such as deep packet inspections and header stripping to inform applications of conditions on the network that directly affect them.

    According to Huy Nguyen, senior director of product management for Gigamon, the goal behind the building of the Unified Visibility Fabric is to turn all the arcane data that networks routinely collect into information that applications can consume. To do that, the Unified Visibility Fabric provides a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that Gigamon and others can use to build and integrate applications.

    This week, Gigamon extended the applications it provides on top of the Unified Visibility Fabric to include FlowVUE, which identifies and then prioritizes the forwarding of packets for specific applications; an Adaptive Packet Filtering application that examines all the content in any given packet to determine where it needs to be forwarded; and a GTP correlation application that forwards packets based on which network sessions an organization has decided to prioritize.

    In addition to these new applications, Gigamon has enhanced its support for IPv6 and added support for Cisco FabricPath environments and IP fragmentation awareness.

    Nguyen contends that one of the biggest obstacles to improving IT productivity in the enterprise is the simple fact that most of the information used to manage networks comes in a format that is unintelligible to applications. By providing an overlay for intelligently managing traffic, Nguyen says Gigamon is working to add an orchestration layer that will give application owners more control over the aspects of the network that affect the performance of any given application.

    With the rise of network overlays, much of the mystery surrounding the management of networking is starting to disappear in a way that allows rules that govern application traffic to be more easily imposed. That capability, says Nguyen, is arriving at a critical time because the volume and diversity of traffic on the network has never been greater. The challenge now is finding a way to give each application tenant sharing access to that network a way to first understand how the network affects their application and, within certain parameters, do something about it.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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